Brody Van Roekel ’16
Sioux Center, Iowa

Looking back, moving forward

Interested in graduate school, Brody is looking into medieval studies programs to further explore his interest in history and language arts. During his time at Northwestern, he served as a peer tutor, a freshman class representative on the Student Government Association, and a member of the Red Raider football team. A resident assistant in Colenbrander Hall the past two years, Brody is serving as an assistant resident director during 2015–16. With three Spring Service Project trips to New Orleans under his belt, Brody is making the most of his servant’s heart.

Story time
Stories fascinate me to no end. Even from a young age, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to and telling stories. The beautiful thing about them is you can gain entirely new perspectives on almost everything. To me, history is the collection of stories. We can see into the lives and minds of people who have been gone for hundreds or thousands of years. Without the study of history, how else are we supposed to know what Socrates or Marcus Aurelius had to say?

(Residence) life lessons
Living in Colenbrander Hall has been a highlight of my time at Northwestern. I’ve  gotten to know people I never would have known otherwise. The guys who live there care deeply about one another. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great representation of real life. Not everyone you meet will agree with you, but you can still get along and live graciously together.

Mingling with mentors
All of my professors—not just the history faculty—have helped make my experience an unforgettable one. The professors hang around campus frequently and are always willing to talk. They not only provide typical information, like feedback on assignments, but they want to know students personally. They care about each of us, and that became evident from the first few meetings I had with them.

Making connections
I’ve really enjoyed all my classes, but my First-Year Seminar class is one of my favorites. It pulled me out of my shell and, even better, connected me with an awesome group of people right out of the gate—as well as a great professor outside of my discipline.